Joker Phillips looking for first big win at The Swamp
If Joker Phillip’s first big win of his head coaching career comes this Saturday night at The Swamp, it will be Kentucky’s first win in 30 years at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Since Urban Meyer took over the Gators, Florida has defeated Kentucky 49-28, 26-7, 45-37, 63-5, and 41-7. That’s an average win margin of 26 points.
Phillips knows this is the type of game Kentucky needs to win to take the next step in their program. Kentucky won last year at Auburn and at Georgia. He said, "[A game like this] is what you come to Kentucky for."
Phillips added, “Florida has not scored in first quarter yet this year — It means we can’t let the game get out of hand. We can’t be down 28-0 in the first quarter. We can’t be sloppy like we were in the first quarter last week. Last week (against Akron) we sleep walked to start the game. If we do that this week, we will be down 21, 28 points in the first quarter if we do not match their intensity. If you allow things the Swamp brings to intimidate you, you can be down 28 points in the first quarter.”
“Every time we get on the bus we talk about it is a business trip, not a slumber party. We want to win the (Southeastern Conference) East. If you want to win the East, you have to go about this season as business only.”
Running back Derrick Locke said, “Even if we do beat some, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to beat the teams we haven’t beat, and then we’ll get respect."
Locke added, “This team will not be a team intimidated by The Swamp or playing in a game like this.”
Kick-off is set for 7:00 pm EST on ESPNU. You can see the entire Week #4 TV schedule right here.
Coaches talk about the stress in the profession
A day after Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack, several coaches from around the country talked about the stress in coaching.
Rich Rodriguez: "When you're in certain professions -- coaching is one of them and probably university administration, politicians -- you don't just work your job, you live your job. You're never really away from it. That probably adds more to it than it used to be. But you know that going into it. Some of it is just life in general, sometimes your health issues will come up."
"You have to take care of yourself, but it's hard to get away from your job. You don't leave the office, go home and leave your job at the office. That's not possible to do in this kind of profession."
"What's hard, a lot of coaches will tell you, it's hard to devote the time. You want to watch the film and you've got a lot of things to do. But you have to. I'm sure all coaches are the same way. You encourage your staff to do it and when it's lunchtime or early in the morning, give them some time to exercise and all of that because it's a busy time and if you don't devote yourself to it, you could get in trouble."
Bill Cubit: “That’s the business. You don’t eat right, you don’t get any sleep. ... There’s no other way to do this business."
“He’s (Dantonio) a great guy. It’s a shame it happened. I’m sure there are a lot of coaches going home tonight after a long day, looking at their wives and having their wives look back at them, saying, ‘You’d better take care of yourself.’ The job doesn’t allow you to do it.”
Kyle Whittingham: "Everything is more scrutinized and everything is more of a win now mentality. There isn't much patience with head coaches these days. It used be a four, five or six-year rebuilding program and that is a thing of the past. I work out every day and get something done physically. That is my relief. If I couldn't do that, I don't know how I'd hold up."
Pat Fitzgerald: ''There's a number of coaches right now who are battling some issues. Being a coach, you live in front of the camera and on the Internet. There are lots of people that have stressful jobs.''
Bob Stoops: "It's always been challenging. Mark is a close and dear friend of mine. That's part of our job. We have to listen to ourselves and make sure we're checked and keep up with our health the best we can. It's obviously a stressful job."
Mike Gundy: "I don't think there is any question my health is not good during the season."
Mike Leach: "There is nothing healthy about it. There's the stress of dealing with the day-to-day and the ups and downs of 120 different people, most of them ages 18-22. There is also the politics that go into a university and some of the bureaucracy."
Derek Dooley: "No. 1, you feel such a responsibility to the fans, to the program to do a good job and do your part, and that can weigh on you. You feel such a responsibility to the kids that you coach. Those two things alone, the responsibility you feel is enough. Then add to it the day-to-day scrutiny that you get publicly, and that certainly weighs on you. Then add to it the patience or lack thereof of universities with their coaches."
Nick Saban: “The one thing that I remember is he (Dantonio) was always in a hell of a lot better shape than I was so that’s kind of a wake-up call to me to make sure I’m doing the right things and taking care of myself. It was really kind of a shock because he was so into physical fitness, good health, and good conditioning all the time. Hopefully this will resolve and in a few weeks he’ll be back to normal and won’t have any future issues.”
Urban Meyer: "I just happen to think it's a high profile position and where you are you get a lot of attention.''
Joker Phillips: “I haven't changed my routine. I still work out every day. I still get the same amount of sleep. I just think that, this game is important to me there's no question about that. But my family and my personal health is more important. Am I competitor and do I want to win? Yes, no question about that. But I try not to let this game rule my life also.''
Dooley will not sugar-coat the Vols' performances
Derek Dooley simply isn’t going to sugar-coat anything. The first-year Vols head coach is as open and direct with the media as any coach in the country.
During his Monday pressers, Dooley goes in depth to explain the Vols’ weekend performance.
Here's part of what Dooley had to say on the Vols 31-14 loss to Florida:
“But probably the biggest disappointment offensively was the number of just breakdowns, doing things they never did in practice. It was almost as if we were more starry-eyed this game on offense than the previous two. I'm not sure why.”
“But ultimately what killed us on defense is our inability to win one-on-one at every level, and that's what got us on third down. Our pass rush was terrible up front when we could never win any one-on-ones. We weren't coming at them aggressively. We weren't aggressive in coverage, never denied them the ball.”
"If you look at the field position game, I think their average field position was the 41 and ours was the 26. That makes a big difference.”
“Quarterback, we had a lot of decision issues and accuracy issues that affected us. Our running backs, poor in pass protection, technique-wise, and jumpy when they ran the ball. Our receivers, getting lined up properly and using good route technique. I mean, it was essentially everything and it showed."
“The good returners, they commit and they hit it. We aren't doing that right now, and it shows. We didn't do a good job blocking, but there's been a lot of returns out there with a lot of air that we're not taking advantage of."
"I've always said this, that the special teams is always sort of a microcosm of your team. And our depth issues, it really shows up on (special) teams. They outperformed us in the big space areas.”
The Vols host UAB on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 12:21 pm EST on the SEC-Network.
Tuesday morning Coaches Quick Hits
Urban Meyer talks about concerns: “I think he’s (Brantley) got to get better. There’s one way we evaluate quarterbacks here. He’s 3-0 as a starter at Florida, so that’s pretty good, going on the road and winning a game. To say we’re thrilled with where we’re at offensively, and he’s the focal point of the offense, that would be a false statement. To say that he’s handled himself very well, to say he’s managing the team, to say that he does throw a very nice pass and hit five third-and-longs against Tennessee – those are all very good. We just need to improve. We’re pleased with where we’re at, we just need to keep improving.”
“On defense the only concern was, and it’s a major concern, when you turn guys loose in coverage. And that all can be corrected.”
Steve Sarkisian extremely disappointed: "I thought in the second half, there were moments there where we lacked the competitive nature that this program prides itself on. That will never happen again. You'll see us compete for 60 minutes, I can promise everybody that."
Spurrier says he’ll coach 4-5 more years: "Four to five years. I told some people this summer that I really feel like we signed a running back, Marcus Lattimore, that can do some special things for us. I also like this quarterback, Connor Shaw, and some of our freshman linemen.
“We have a pretty good team and we have taken care of the ball, and it has worked out for us that we have won a couple. But we have a long ways to go. We're not getting any turnovers. We haven't made a lot of big things happen in special teams. We aren't a great passing team by any means right now. We have a lot to work on."
(on this year’s team) "We have a lot of good, young players here. Our recruiting has been very solid the last several years, so we've got an eye toward the future. It's not like we have a senior team or anything. We have several seniors, but we have a pretty good balance of young guys and older players here."
Lane Kiffin talks about dominant defensive front: “I thought our front line defense played even better than I thought after the game. Our front seven / eight was pretty dominant. Our challenge all week was to play physical up there.”
“I do feel us coming together better. I feel like we are getting a better understanding of our guys. We definitely are better than we were three weeks ago.”
(on falling 2 spots in poll) “I doesn’t concern me one bit.”
Quoting TCU head coach Gary Patterson: "We played a Pac-10 team [Oregon State] and a Big 12 team, we did all right. And we treated a I-AA team [Tennessee Tech] like we were supposed to [62-7]."
Al Golden reflects on a big-win over UCONN: "It's a big win because we are 3-0 [for the first time since 1979], and because it was against a real physical opponent. An opponent that had gone into South Bend and won, gone to play South Carolina and won. That's the significance of it."
Chris Petersen calls Boise State “a work in progress” : "We're still a work in progress. We need to get through a few more games and see what we have."
Gary Patterson has not talked to June Jones in a while: "I haven't really talked to anybody in a month and a half. I don't talk to my wife much right now. So if I'm not talking to her I'm probably not talking to anybody else."
Sonny Dykes disappointed with 2nd half performance against Navy: "I'm not sure if our players expected Navy to lay down at halftime, but they certainly didn't do it. We dropped passes, threw the ball in the ground, missed tackles, gave up sacks "» we just need to be a mentally tougher team."
Dooley concerned about depth on special teams: “I’ve always said that special teams is sort of a microcosm of your team and our depth issues, it really shows up.’’
Akron head coach Rob Ianello staying patient: ''We believe in our plan. We believe in what we are doing. We are not going to panic after three games.”
Houston Nutt concerned about offensive line: “We’ve got to do a better job up front. We’ve got to do a better job with the running game, and take some pressure off the passing game. We’re going to see how things look,” Nutt said. “We’re just trying to find the best (players), the toughest, the most competitive.”
Cutcliffe reflects on Bama game: “I thought we were emotionally equipped to handle it, but we weren’t. I had deep hopes that we would respond and get better as a football team. First of all, you have to get over being shellshocked.”
“I can’t say I’ve been here before because that’s the worst defeat I’ve ever suffered. It’s the first game I’ve been here that it just all blew up in our face.”
Saban breaks down Arkansas & old cliche
After breaking down a few hours of Arkansas film, Nick Saban took time today to break down the cliché, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.”
Saban explained, “I think our team will find that you really are only as strong as your weakest link, and I think everyone has got to fight a better fight against better competition. I think that’s the challenge for everyone in terms of doing their job. That quote about you are only as strong as your weakest link is usually talking about teams, but really you can say that about yourself. You’re only as strong as your weakest link so if you have a weakness you need to work on it, improve, get better at it, so you have a chance to get better. That should be everybody’s challenge here. On the road it is going to be a real critical test for our ability to overcome adversity and stay focused on the task at hand against a really good football team.”
Saban knows stopping the Razorbacks’ running game will be critical to his team’s success on Saturday.
“We have not played the run, in my opinion, as well as what I think we’re capable of, nor as well as we need to. We haven’t played it poorly, but it’s not just one guy and it’s not just one spot, it’s linebacker fits on the runs – now is it easier to fit the runs when you have guys up front that they have to take two guys to block for a long time? I don’t think there is any doubt about that and you can defend things a little bit differently. The run support hasn’t been what it needs to be on the perimeter at times. We’ve got to become a better tackling team.”
Kick-off from Razorback Stadium is set for 3:30 pm EST on CBS.
Les Miles wants some juice in Tiger Stadium vs. West Virginia
Les Miles opened his press conference today by talking about Tiger Stadium and the LSU fans.
It’s quite obvious that Miles wants a raucous crowd in Baton Rouge on Saturday night when West Virginia comes to town.
Miles explained, "I have to tell you that your football team so enjoys going into Tiger Stadium after two games on the road. I can tell you that it was a marked difference in the enjoyment of our team to play. It is interesting; I guess every coach talks about defending his home turf and how important it is in front of your friends, family and those people that love you that you perform well. This is also Tiger Stadium, and the idea that 20 years from now someone will turn to you and ask where you played football at, and if you say LSU the next question will be 'What was it like?' I think our team has really chosen to make that experience very special and play to that, so when they have to answer that question years from now, they will answer it as it was unbelievable and spectacular. Wow, how wonderful it was this weekend.”
Miles is particularly pleased with the Tiger's defense and team chemistry.
“I think this team has got a fundamental 'teammanship' to it, or in other words, the enjoyment of team.”
"Anytime that you have five turnovers and you get five interceptions, you should dominate that game. Frankly we scored on seven of our nine possessions. It was a lot of short fields, and there was not a long field to go. If our defense continues to play like that and we continue to get turnovers, our football team will have the kind of year that we will all look forward to.”
Kick-off is set for 9:00 pm EST on Saturday night.
Mike Riley going with blue practice field to prepare for Boise State
In preparation for the trip to Boise, Oregon State head coach Mike Riley has decided to paint the Beavers’ practice field blue.
Boise State head coach Chris Petersen joked today, "Perfect. We've got them right where we want them if they're painting their field."
Mike Riley said, “Our guys know enough about Boise State to know this is going to be (difficult), even before they start watching film. They are so efficient offensively, and defensively you combine their fundamentals with the passion they play with and it’s very impressive.”
“You’ve got to keep your hands around the game,” Riley said. “You can’t let it get away like that. If they punch you, you’ve got to counterpunch. If they get a stop on defense, we have to get a stop on defense. If they score, we have to score.”
We have the video below, so you can see the field painting process.
ESPN’s College GameDay crew will broadcast LIVE from Boise. Kick-off is set for 8 pm EST on ABC.
5 disappointed head coaches
Ralph Friedgen disappointed: “We reverted back to some things that were problems last year. Some guys panicked.”
Bill Cubit terribly disappointed with Western Michigan run game: “We’ve got to regroup, we’ve got to retool it, have some time in there. We may run the ball the whole day on Thursday and Friday. We may not throw a pass, just to get that thing going.”
Randy Edsall disappointed with passing game: "What we have to do is get more production in the passing game. Whichever quarterback gives us that production, makes the right reads and delivers the ball on time, doesn't throw interceptions ... We should be more productive in the passing game than we have been so far."
Steve Sarkisian disappointed in UW “competitive nature” : Bob Condotta of the Seattle-Times writes, “Sarkisian said one of his biggest disappointments in reviewing the Nebraska loss was some of the lapses in the team's "competitive nature,'' especially as the deficit grew in the second half. Sarkisian promised that that "will never happen again'' and said it's on him to make sure that it doesn't. Said UW will always compete for 60 minutes from here on out "I can promise you that.'' Said he hadn't felt that had ever been an issue previously during his time at UW.”
Rick Stockstill disappointed with turnovers: "This just eats at my gut because (turnovers) are things you can control. We have to protect the dang ball, and hopefully we'll get a turnover when it counts."
"All the turnovers have been by the quarterbacks except three fumbles by (Tanner, Beyah and Tyler Mason). The rest have been interceptions and a fumble by our quarterbacks. We've got to be better than that.”